Fear: Its role in the writer’s life

Before I start, I want to address my non-writing readers. You will want to read to the end of this post and learn how you can win a $20 Amazon gift card from me!

Now, to those who write, want to write, are afraid to write, or are just curious about the mind of a writer…most of us battle fear. But what exactly do writers fear? Are all fears the same? How can we overcome fear and succeed?

First, there are different kinds of fear.

Fear of failure

Fear of Failure Questions:

  • What if I try my very best and it still isn’t good enough?
  • What if I pour myself into this dream and I never publish more than a blog post?
  • What if the stack of rejection letters don’t pave the road to traditional contracts but are, in fact, just rejections upon rejections that declare I am not good enough?

The Fear of Failure Lie:

  • If I never try—if I never put myself out there—I’ll not fail.

Fear of Failure Truth:

  • If you never try, you’ve already failed.

Fear of success

Fear of Success Questions:

  • If I do my best, battle the fear of failure, actually sell a book, will anyone read it?
  • If they do read it, what if the reviews are bad?
  • Can I handle criticism of my work?
  • Can I handle not being liked?

Fear of Success Lies:

  • I can protect myself from hurt by closing myself off from others.
  • I can control all aspects of life.

Fear of Success Truth:

  • Putting yourself out there is always a risk, but sharing your work helps you become a better writer.
  • Not all feedback is negative. Weed through it, apply the truth, and discard the rest.
  • If you’re looking for praise and adoration, you’re in the wrong career/hobby. Everyone has an opinion and the popularity of social media has made it easier to share those opinions.
  • Learn to differentiate between a criticism of your writing and a criticism of you. Comments are often not as personal as we make them.

Fear of self promotion

Fear of Self Promotion Questions:

  • How do I get the word out about my book without sounding prideful?
  • How do I spread the news beyond a repeated request for everyone who knows me to: Buy my book! Because that gets old. Quickly.
  • How do I, as a believer in the Lord, a person committed to the pursuit of making less of me and more of God, do something as self-promoting as talk about me? My book? My work? My yada-yada-yada?

Fear of Self Promoting Lies:

  • A grass-roots word-of-mouth publicity plan is enough.
  • Promoting my book and promoting me are the same thing.

Fear of Self Promoting Truths:

  • Word of mouth is GREAT. But sometimes, I have to speak first.
  • If I don’t care how my book is received, why will anyone else?
  • I am NOT promoting me. I am promoting a product or message that I believe can help/encourage/instruct someone else and ultimately draw them closer to the Lord.

One core fear

All the above sub-fears share one core fear: Fear of man. What will people think of me, my work, my message? But I am not called to fear man. I am called to fear God.

Do I fear the Lord?

The bigger question is: Do I fear the Lord? Because if I do, than I know my life isn’t about me. It’s about Him. The truth is, I will get some things wrong. I won’t always say it right, write it right, or be right. But God hasn’t called me to perfection. He has called me to repentance and obedience. He has called me to develop and use my gifts for His glory.

glorious-surrender-hr_final

I’ve battled all three of these fears in the weeks leading up to this Friday. This Friday, I am celebrating the release of Glorious Surrender. Getting to this point has forced me to surrender even more to the Lord.

  • I’ve surrendered my privacy by sharing some deeply personal illustrations with the desire that my experience will point you to the answers found only in Christ.
  • I’ve surrendered my writing preferences, because in many ways, fiction feels so much safer. This book is real. It’s raw. Sharing it has put me into an uncomfortable and vulnerable position. But if being in this spot helps you in your walk with the Lord, it is worth it. Because that’s what matters. More than comfort, more than preference, I want to see you deepening your faith and seeking the Lord.

Come on back Friday, Nov 4th to this blog and celebrate a social media book launch party! I will be hosting in three places: my Facebook writer page, twitter, and on my blog. Visit any of those places and comment about surrender between 10:00am and 9:00pm EST for your chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card. See full contest rules here

Glorious Surrender: the book

The book, Glorious Surrender, will, Lord willing, release in November 2016! I’m am grateful to the judges of the Women’s Journey of Faith contest that chose Glorious Surrender as their winner. I’m equally excited and fearful.

I’m excited because this project is my heart split open and spilling out on paper.

I’m nervous because this project is my heart split open and spilling out on paper.

Please pray that the edits are smooth and the Lord works through my editor, trimming the script down until it glorifies only the name above all names—Jesus.

Here is a sneak peek at early reviews for Glorious Surrender: find peace and joy in a life fully surrendered to God.

“Stacey Weeks writes with transparency about the tension and transformation that her role as a pastor’s wife played in bringing her to the place of ultimate freedom – one who seeks God’s glory above all else. She communicates with honesty about the messiness of real life in public ministry and takes readers on a journey through raw life topics including pride, living authentically, finding true rest in the chaos, and spiritual warfare. Her passion for God’s glory to preoccupy and transform everyday living accompanies every thought on every page. This book is not just for pastor’s wives, it is for any woman wanting to take a vulnerable look at the sins and deceptions that lurk within their minds and hearts, that can stall their progress toward finding true purpose. A must read!”   ~Andrea Keene, author of radio bible study Ruth: redeeming the darkness

“Often we sit in our seats and wonder what the life of our pastor is like, but forget that there is another person in that relationship that must honour the God given calling of that man. Glorious Surrender is more than Stacey’s story; it is about God’s ability to shape any ordinary person into the image of Him.” ~Kevin Miller, church elder at Harvest Bible Chapel Brantford

“If you want to glorify God in everything you think, say and do, I recommend that you spend time reading Glorious Surrender.” Tami Swartz, Biblical Counselor

Changing Seasons

September rushes in unavoidable change. Summer turns to autumn. Trees drop their leaves. Temperatures dip. Fortunately, September has always been a favourite month of mine. However, this year, the changes ushered in have been bittersweet.

Sweet Changes

Some of the best changes are the two new book contacts signed within one week of each other. (Whoo hoo!) Novel #2, tentatively titled, In Too Deep, has been picked up by my publisher, Pelican Book Group. And, Glorious Surrender, (the book – not the website) was awarded the Women’s Journey of Faith award. It won a publishing contract and will be released within the next year. Sometimes, I have to pinch myself to believe this dream of writing is actually coming true. The ‘sweet’ is holding Unexpected Love in my hands, turning the pages and seeing Julie’s passionate love for her children and Lord come to life through images and words.

Bitter changes

The most bitter change was saying good-bye to a dear friend who is now with her Lord. There are no words to convey the hole she leaves in her community, her church, and in her family. Her departure makes autumn a little bit harsher and a whole lot colder.

Emotional changes

We started homeschooling again. Day one was great, two, three, and four left me questioning my sanity. Can I really teach these kids? This is so much harder than I remember it being last year. What if I fail?

As I navigate this emotional month, I thank the Lord my identity and self worth are not rooted in the external. My identity and worth are rooted in the One who never changes, the One who never fails. His strength is enough. He fills every need, comforts every wounded heart, and holds the only opinion that matters.

What really matters

In the end, it doesn’t matter how my next two books are received by the world as long as my words glorify the Lord.

It’s normal and right to grieve the loss of my friend. God promises that as I prioritize Him and His word, pressing onward day by day, eventually this mourning will turn into joy. Blessed are those who mourn, for they are comforted. There have been some sweet moments of drawing closer to my Lord during my grief.

And school? Well, there are good days and bad days, easy days and hard days. And God is with me every day, reminding me to speak in love and with gentleness, to persevere, and to keep the big picture in front of me. These precious days with our littles are going too fast. They are worth the extra effort, the extra time, and the extra energy.

Living a life that points them to Christ is what really matters.